Posted on Leave a comment

La Reina de la Cocina: Queen of the Kitchen

Onions have often been described as La Reina de la Cocina by the Italians (The Queen of the Kitchen) for a reason. They uses in the kitchen are as versatile as their varieties. They are the basis of many dishes from soups to sauces. Below is just an example of many ways the onion is used in the kitchen.

Christmas Onion Recipes Make For Healthy, Tasty Feasts

Source: Onions USA
December 17, 2019 by RHardwick

Traditional Christmas feasts typically use onions as a side dish. But to get the most nutrition and flavor out of your meals, we suggest you find a way to incorporate Christmas onion recipes into your celebration. We’ve assembled a few for you here. They not only include onions but other healthy additions for flavor and nutrition. If you want to try something different this year, recipes with The Onion — Nature’s Ninja, will surely surprise and delight your family and guests.

Turkey Spiral With Onion And Dried Cherry Stuffing

Turkey Spiral with Onion-Dried Cherry Stuffing

Source: Onions USA
Shidonna raven garden and cook


6 tablespoons butter, salted
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced yellow onions
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups diced day old bread
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
3/4 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup turkey or chicken broth
2 large eggs, beaten

1 whole turkey breast, bone in (5 – 6 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter, salted, melted


In heavy saucepan over medium heat, sauté first set of ingredients for 7 to 10 minutes until just beginning to brown. Add second set of ingredients, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add broth and eggs, stirring well to combine. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Bone out turkey breast lobes, keeping skin intact. Lay each lobe onto work surface, skin side down. Cutting from where center breast bone was, butterfly breast open (slice turkey breast horizontally, not all the way through). Open up butterflyed turkey breast, keeping skin side down, and pound lightly to even thickness to 1 inch. Divide stuffing mixture in half and place on flesh side of each turkey breast lobe. Spread mixture evenly and pat into place. Roll up the turkey breast, jelly roll style, so that the skin ends up on the outside of the roll. Repeat with other lobe of turkey breast.
Place each turkey spiral onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Brush turkey with melted butter. Tightly seal turkey breast in foil. Place foil wrapped spirals onto baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Open up foil to expose top of spiral and baste with accumulated pan drippings. Return to oven and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes basting occasionally, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Then slice into 1/2-inch slices and serve. Makes 12 servings.

Special notes

Per serving: About 281 cal, 29 g pro, 14 g carb, 12 g fat, 38% cal from fat, 127 mg chol, 336 mg sod, 1 g fiber.

What other dishes do you enjoy that include onions? Which onion is your favorite? Why?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

9 Impressive Health Benefits of Onions

Source: Healthline
Though all vegetables are important for health, certain kinds offer unique benefits.

Onions are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks and chives.

These vegetables contain various vitamins, minerals and potent plant compounds that have been shown to promote health in many ways.

In fact, the medicinal properties of onions have been recognized since ancient times, when they were used to treat ailments like headaches, heart disease and mouth sores (1Trusted Source).

Here are 9 impressive health benefits of onions.

Source: Healthline
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

1. Packed With Nutrients

Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.

One medium onion has just 44 calories but delivers a considerable dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber (2Trusted Source).

This vegetable is particularly high in vitamin C, a nutrient involved in regulating immune health, collagen production, tissue repair and iron absorption.

Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant in your body, protecting your cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals (3Trusted Source).

Onions are also rich in B vitamins, including folate (B9) and pyridoxine (B6) — which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production and nerve function (4Trusted Source).

Lastly, they’re a good source of potassium, a mineral in which many people are lacking.

In fact, the average potassium intake of Americans is just over half the recommended daily value (DV) of 4,700 mg (5Trusted Source).

Normal cellular function, fluid balance, nerve transmission, kidney function and muscle contraction all require potassium (6Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Onions are low in calories yet high in nutrients, including vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium.

2. May Benefit Heart Health

Onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels — all of which may lower heart disease risk.

Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.

Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that’s highly concentrated in onions. Since it’s a potent anti-inflammatory, it may help decrease heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure.

A study in 70 overweight people with high blood pressure found that a dose of 162 mg per day of quercetin-rich onion extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3–6 mmHg compared to a placebo (7Trusted Source).

Onions have also been shown to decrease cholesterol levels.

A study in 54 women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) found that consuming large amounts of raw red onions (40–50 grams/day if overweight and 50–60 grams/day if obese) for eight weeks reduced total and “bad” LDL cholesterol compared to a control group (8Trusted Source).

Additionally, evidence from animal studies supports that onion consumption may reduce risk factors for heart disease, including inflammation, high triglyceride levels and blood clot formation (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Research shows that eating onions may help reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels and inflammation.

3. Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation, a process that leads to cellular damage and contributes to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Onions are an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, they contain over 25 different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants (12Trusted Source).

Red onions, in particular, contain anthocyanins — special plant pigments in the flavonoid family that give red onions their deep color.

Multiple population studies have found that people who consume more foods rich in anthocyanins have a reduced risk of heart disease.

For example, a study in 43,880 men showed that habitual intakes as high as 613 mg per day of anthocyanins were correlated to a 14% lower risk of nonfatal heart attacks (13Trusted Source).

Similarly, a study in 93,600 women observed that those with the highest intake of anthocyanin-rich foods were 32% less likely to experience a heart attack than women with the lowest intake 14Trusted Source).

Additionally, anthocyanins have been found to protect against certain types of cancer and diabetes (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Red onions are rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful plant pigments that may protect against heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes.

4. Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds

Eating vegetables of the Allium genus like garlic and onions has been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, including stomach and colorectal.

A review of 26 studies showed that people who consumed the highest amount of allium vegetables were 22% less likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer than those who consumed the least amount (17Trusted Source).

Moreover, a review of 16 studies in 13,333 people demonstrated that participants with the highest onion intake had a 15% reduced risk of colorectal cancer compared to those with the lowest intake (18Trusted Source).

These cancer-fighting properties have been linked to the sulfur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants found in allium vegetables.

For example, onions provide onionin A, a sulfur-containing compound that has been shown to decrease tumor development and slow the spread of ovarian and lung cancer in test-tube studies (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

Onions also contain fisetin and quercetin, flavonoid antioxidants that may inhibit tumor growth (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source).

SUMMARY A diet rich in allium vegetables like onions may have a protective effect against certain cancers.

5. Help Control Blood Sugar

Eating onions may help control blood sugar, which is especially significant for people with diabetes or prediabetes.

A study in 42 people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of fresh red onion reduced fasting blood sugar levels by about 40 mg/dl after four hours (23Trusted Source).

Additionally, multiple animal studies have shown that onion consumption may benefit blood sugar control.

A study showed that diabetic rats fed food containing 5% onion extract for 28 days experienced decreased fasting blood sugar and had substantially lower body fat than the control group (24Trusted Source).

Specific compounds found in onions, such as quercetin and sulfur compounds, possess antidiabetic effects.

For example, quercetin has been shown to interact with cells in the small intestine, pancreas, skeletal muscle, fat tissue and liver to control whole-body blood sugar regulation (25Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Due to the many beneficial compounds found in onions, consuming them may help reduce high blood sugar.

6. May Boost Bone Density

Though dairy gets much of the credit for boosting bone health, many other foods, including onions, may help support strong bones.

A study in 24 middle-aged and postmenopausal women showed that those who consumed 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of onion juice daily for eight weeks had improved bone mineral density and antioxidant activity compared to a control group (26Trusted Source).

Another study in 507 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women found that those who ate onions at least once a day had a 5% greater overall bone density than individuals who ate them once a month or less (27Trusted Source).

Plus, the study demonstrated that older women who most frequently ate onions decreased their risk of hip fracture by more than 20% compared to those who never ate them (27Trusted Source).

It’s believed that onions help reduce oxidative stress, boost antioxidant levels and decrease bone loss, which may prevent osteoporosis and boost bone density (28Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Studies show that onion consumption is associated with improved bone mineral density.

7. Have Antibacterial Properties

Onions can fight potentially dangerous bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosaStaphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Bacillus cereus (29Trusted Source).

Furthermore, onion extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of Vibrio cholerae, a bacteria that is a major public health concern in the developing world (30Trusted Source).

Quercetin extracted from onions seems to be a particularly powerful way to fight bacteria.

A test-tube study demonstrated that quercetin extracted from yellow onion skin successfully inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (31Trusted Source).

H. pylori is a bacteria associated with stomach ulcers and certain digestive cancers, while MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes infections in different parts of the body (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

Another test-tube study found that quercetin damaged the cell walls and membranes of E. coli and S. aureus (34Trusted Source).

SUMMARYOnions have been shown to inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus.

8. May Boost Digestive Health

Onions are a rich source of fiber and prebiotics, which are necessary for optimal gut health.

Prebiotics are nondigestible types of fiber that are broken down by beneficial gut bacteria.

Gut bacteria feed on prebiotics and create short-chain fatty acids — including acetate, propionate and butyrate.

Research has shown that these short-chain fatty acids strengthen gut health, boost immunity, reduce inflammation and enhance digestion (35Trusted Source36Trusted Source).

Additionally, consuming foods rich in prebiotics helps increase probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains, which benefit digestive health (37Trusted Source).

A diet rich in prebiotics may help improve the absorption of important minerals like calcium, which may improve bone health (38Trusted Source).

Onions are particularly rich in the prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharides. These help increase the number of friendly bacteria in your gut and improve immune function (39Trusted Source).

SUMMARYOnions are a rich source of prebiotics, which help boost digestive health, improve bacterial balance in your gut and benefit your immune system.

9. Easy to Add to Your Diet

Onions are a staple in kitchens around the world.

They give flavor to savory dishes and can be enjoyed either raw or cooked.

Not to mention, they can boost your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Here are some tips on how to add onions to your diet:

  • Use raw onions to add a kick of flavor to your guacamole recipe.
  • Add caramelized onions to savory baked goods.
  • Combine cooked onions with other vegetables for a healthy side dish.
  • Try adding cooked onions to egg dishes, such as omelets, frittatas or quiches.
  • Top meat, chicken or tofu with sauteed onions.
  • Add thinly sliced red onions to your favorite salad.
  • Make a fiber-rich salad with chickpeas, chopped onions and red peppers.
  • Use onion and garlic as a base for stocks and soups.
  • Throw onions into stir-fry dishes.
  • Top tacos, fajitas and other Mexican dishes with chopped raw onions.
  • Make a homemade salsa with onions, tomatoes and fresh cilantro.
  • Prepare a hearty onion and vegetable soup.
  • Add onions to chili recipes for a flavor boost.
  • Blend raw onions with fresh herbs, vinegar and olive oil for a tasty homemade salad dressing.

SUMMARYOnions can easily be added to savory dishes, including eggs, guacamole, meat dishes, soups and baked goods.

The Bottom Line

The health benefits related to onions are quite impressive.

These nutrient-packed vegetables contain powerful compounds that may decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Onions have antibacterial properties and promote digestive health, which may improve immune function.

What’s more, they’re versatile and can be used to heighten the flavor of any savory dish.

Adding more onions to your diet is an easy way to benefit your overall health.

What are your diet needs? How can onions help? How can you integrate onions into your diet?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

A Quick Guide to Growing Onions Indoors

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Onions

Source: Properly Rooted
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Wilhelm Gunkel 
Home – Gardening – A Quick Guide to Growing Onions Indoors

When growing onions indoors, make sure your plants have enough space and light. Onion plants need six to ten inches of depth for proper root growth and bulb formation. Leave three inches between each onion plant. Scallions or smaller varieties can be planted more closely together.

Onion plants need between 12 to 16 hours of light, varying by whether they are long-day or short-day onions. Supplement sunlight with artificial light if needed. While you can start with onion seeds or sets, you can easily turn leftover onion bulbs or sprouted onions from your kitchen into an indoor garden.

Choosing a Type of Onion

Onions are hardy plants and easy to grow inside. Green onions, or scallions, are popular with indoor and casual gardeners because of how easily they grow. Bulb onions require a little more space than scallions but can be grown in pots, containers, and even plastic water bottles.

When choosing a type of onion, your location is the main factor to consider. There are two main types of onion, and this has nothing to do with variety or taste: long-day and short-day onions.

Long-day means the onions need 14 to 16 hours of daylight to form bulbs. Short-day varieties need 12 to 14 hours of sun each day. Fortunately, you don’t need to calculate how many hours of sunlight your yard receives each day. Just look at your latitude.

Climates above the 35th parallel are cold, but actually, have longer days in spring and summer. Below the 35th parallel, the weather is warmer but days have fewer hours of sunlight. If you live up north, choose a long-day onion, and in the south, stick with short-day plants.

Now there are also day-neutral onions on the market, an alternative for any location.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Here are a few of the supplies you need to grow onions indoors:

  • a container
  • soil (or just water)
  • onion seeds, onion sets, or onion scraps from your kitchen
  • additional light source (optional)

Choosing a Container

Onions need containers that are six to ten inches deep. The width of the container is up to you and the space you have available.

While it’s not impossible for onions to grow in containers shallower than six inches, the depth affects quality and size. Deeper containers allow for more root growth and space for the bulbs to expand. Even if you’re growing giant onions indoors, you don’t need a container more than ten inches deep.

Feel free to get creative with your indoor onions. You can grow single onions in a plastic bottle, as shown in this quick tutorial below:

It’s also possible to grow enough onions to make up a small garden in just a plastic bottle. Bottle onion growers with holes along the sides have gained popularity for their aesthetics and novelty. You can try this for yourself with a five-liter bottle and some spring onion bulbs.

Soil for Growing Onions

Onions aren’t particularly picky when it comes to soil. Most nutrient-rich soils will be enough for onion plants. A simple potting mix will usually be enough.

While onions grow fine in most soils, they will struggle if the soil is too acidic. The pH level of your soil should be 6.5 or higher for onions. If the pH is too low, you can use ground limestone to decrease the acidity.

If you want to give your onions a little more care, consider using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Onions thrive on nitrogen, which can increase the quality and size of your bulbs. Fertilizers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate are healthy for onion plants.

Going without Soil

As we’ve seen in the plastic bottle tutorial, it is possible to grow onions in just water. Soil will provide onions plants with more nutrients, but if you’re just looking for convenience, stick onion sprouts or bulbs into a glass of water and watch them grow.

Here’s a video demonstrating how easy it is to grow green onions in water. The gardener compares green onions grown in soil with plants grown in only water.

Despite the results of this quick experiment, we wouldn’t completely discount the power of soil and a good fertilizer.

Onion Seeds or Starter Plants

Just like you would find in a garden, you can grow onions indoors from seeds or onion sets. However, you might find all the ingredients you need among your kitchen leftovers.

We typically cut off and discard the end of an onion, where the roots would grow. Instead of throwing this part away, place it in water or moist soil and let it sprout.

Sometimes onions begin to sprout on their own. If you find onion sprouts in your pantry, consider it a head start for your indoor garden! Carefully cut any onion flesh away from the sprout. Then plant it in your container and water.

Green onions grow especially well without much care. To start growing green onions you can use vegetables purchased from your local grocery store. As in the video above, save the bottom of the plants, taking care not to damage the white part of the stalk or the roots. Place these in soil or water and watch them grow.


If you’re going the traditional route and starting with onion seeds, sow them in a container of your choice. The size of this first container isn’t important because your goal is to let the seeds germinate. You can choose one container for all of your onion seeds, or use a partitioned container to keep them separate.

If using a partitioned container, place at least two seeds in each cell to ensure at least one seed will germinate. Otherwise, in a large container, spread seeds evenly in the soil and then a light layer of soil on top.

Onion sets are small, immature onions used for growing. Like seeds, you can place them in a partitioned container, one set per cell, or space them out in a wider container. Even though they have more form than seeds, it’s best to let them sprout and grow for a bit before giving them more space.

Allow the seeds to germinate, or your onion sets to sprout. Let them grow for about four to six weeks or until the plants are around three inches high. If you have too many, choose the healthiest plants and move them to a container that is six to ten inches deep.

Enough Light for your Onions

When growing onions indoors, space is usually the biggest concern. However the next part you need to worry about is light.

Onions are sensitive to light cycles, meaning they need a certain amount of light each day to bulb at the appropriate time. We know onions need 12 to 16 hours of light a day, depending on their type.

In the winter or late fall, it may be impossible to get this much sunlight. Plants indoors nearly always get less sunlight than outdoor plants.

You can get your onions the necessary amount of light by supplementing with artificial light. Fluorescent and incandescent lights are enough, but there are also a variety of grow lights available. Don’t forget that plants also need dark hours to mimic the day-night cycle, so don’t leave your lights on 24/7.

Which onion variety will you grow? Why? Send us pictures.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Organic Vegetables Edge

When to Buy Organic: A Produce Cheat Sheet | Consumer Reports

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Buying Organic
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: Consumer Reports

Making informed choices about the foods we eat also helps us partner well with health professionals regarding our over all health. Do you know the difference between Organic and Non Organic Foods? Do you think buying organic is like buying gourmet food? What is different about food today than food 40 years ago? What has changed and how do pesticides and GMOs effect your health? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

Posted on Leave a comment

Fresh Foods

Longer Life for Fruits & Vegetables | Consumer Reports

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Longer Life for Fruits and Vegetable
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Making more frequent trips to the grocery store is another way to keep your sources of food fresh. Although Consumer Reports gives us some good tips on keeping food fresh. Curious how to best store a food not found in the consumer report? Just Ask? What did you learn? How can you keep your foods fresher and prevent disease and bad bacteria from food? As always you are the best part of what we do. Stay healthy.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.